Vacations and Trips

Wine tasting notes from trips we have taken.

Group of elephant moms protecting a calf

Kashawe Camp: Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

The fourth safari destination on our Overseas Adventure Travel Ultimate Africa safari was Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. At this point in our trip we had spent nine nights in three tented camps in Botswana and Zambia. We had only three nights left in Hwange National Park before we headed back to the city (Victoria Falls and then on to Cape Town.) I tried not to think about the fact that our safari was coming to an end, but tried to remain in the moment and enjoy everything Hwange had to offer. And no, we were not tired of watching and photographing the animals!

Lafupa River Camp, Zambia

Lafupa Camp in Kafue National Park, Zambia: A Beautiful River Camp

Lafupa Camp is located at the confluence of the Lafupa River into the Kafue River in Kafue National Park, Zambia. Birding and fishing were spectacular, and we enjoyed evening game drives. We were serenaded by hippos and kingfishers in the mornings and visited by an elephant or two. It was another great stop on our Ultimate Africa Safari with Overseas Adventure Travel.

Wild dogs in Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park, Botswana: A Bit Dusty But Beautiful in the Dry Season

Chobe National Park is enormous, about 11,000 sq kilometers in area. It, along with the Chobe Forest Reserve occupy the northeastern corner of Botswana. We explored but a tiny portion of the National Park, mostly along the banks of the Chobe River between Ngoma and Serondela, but also traveled through areas of the park distant from the river. The scenery was beautiful and the animal sightings plentiful.

Bushman Rock Estate wines

Bushman Rock Estate — Why Yes, I Will Have Some Zimbabwean Wine With My Botswana Safari

Travel is great fun and so is wine. Combining the two can be twice the fun. As we planned our trip to Africa, we knew we would be tasting many wines from South Africa. In fact we extended our stay to do just that. But, we also wanted to try and find wine from at least one of the other countries we would be visiting. We succeeded in tasting four interesting wines from Bushman Rock Estate in Zimbabwe while we were in Botswana. What a great wine adventure!

Welcome to Baobab Safari Lodge

Baobab Safari Lodge, Botswana: Our Safari Begins

Baobab Safari Lodge is situated above the Chobe River in Botswana along a broad open forest that slopes toward the river. It isn’t far from the Ngoma Bridge which reaches between Botswana and Namibia. In July the river forms a series of narrow channels in the area due to decreasing water levels. High water is generally in April and May after which it begins receding until January when water levels again begin to rise.

Entrance to the Apartheid Museum

Our Africa Adventure Begins: A Quick Intro And Then On to Johannesburg

The flying time between California and South Africa was a grueling 22 hours in length for us (not counting a 4-hour layover). We tried hard not to think how long a time that really is. To that end, we officially began our trip with a toast made with Graham Beck Brut NV, what else? We have had this delicious South African sparkling wine made in the Method Cap Classic style (South Africa’s Méthode Traditionnelle) several times. It is always delicious and just what we wanted to celebrate the beginning of what we expected to be an exciting vacation.

Africa — Our Dream Vacation Come True

Pete and I have wanted to visit Africa for a long time. It’s something we have talked about over the years, often in the afternoon with a glass of wine in hand, in our back yard. Vacation day dreaming! But finally our plans turned from wistful thinking to planning…over a year of planning actually.

Stolpman Vineyards — Tasting the Wine

We recently had a great vineyard tour at Stolpman Vineyards, located in the Ballard Canyon AVA within the Santa Ynez AVA. It was a warm December afternoon and we were met by Joe Neenan who took us on a driving and walking tour of the vineyards.  We wrote about that tour in a prior post.